The Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere University of Agriculture and Technology (MJNUAT) will begin admitting students this year, it has been revealed here.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda,made the announcement here during his tour of Butiama district to inspect ongoing renovation of temporary buildings and the construction of new buildings for the new university.
He said the Sixth Phase Government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan has already allocated 2.6 bn/- for the repair of several buildings which will accommodate the first intake of students scheduled to study at the new higher-learning institution.
“By all means, this college must start admitting students this year,” he emphasized.
President Samia has already appointed former Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda as the Chancellor of MJNUAT and former Chief Secretary Philemon Luhanjo as the Chairman of the University Governing Council.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lesakit Mellau, told the minister that the renovation of buildings which housed the then Oswald Mang’ombe Boys Secondary School will enable university authorities to accommodate 400 students this year.
“We thank the government for allocating 2,661,998,000/- for repair of the buildings to accommodate the students in October/November this year. Meanwhile, construction of the 102.35 bn/- university’s Main Campus at Butiama village and the Tabora Campus at Itonjanda is progressing well,” Prof Mellau said.
Buildings earmarked for renovation and construction include three dormitories to accommodate 112 students each, office buildings for 60 academicians and laboratories. The rehabilitation of these buildings is expected to be completed by August this year, according to Prof Mellau.
He said upon completion the new university is expected to accommodate more than 6,000 students.
MJNUAT officially began its activities in March 1, 2015 when former President Jakaya Kikwete appointed its administrators on December 5, 2014.
“I am extremely happy to be part of the process of establishing this university named in honour of our Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Nyerere,”Prof Mkenda said, adding, “I congratulate you for leading the way in your 57 publications.”
The new university is charged with two key responsibilities – research and teaching of young Tanzanians in agriculture and technology to ensure transformation of these key sectors.
Butiama Member of Parliament,Jumanne Sagini, who is also Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, said his constituents are happy upon hearing the news of the launch of the university.
“Our expectations are to see this college begins its academic activities soon,” he said.
On his part, Butiama District Commissioner, Moses Kaegele thanked President Samia for remembering the district with a memorable gift of education which will attract prospective investors.
Prof Mkenda directed the university authorities to lay emphasis on research for increased agricultural production to uplift the living conditions of Tanzanians.
“The focus should be research by having demonstration farms to teach farmers on modern agricultural practices,” he said.
“At Mwalimu Julius K.Nyerere University of Agriculture and Technology, we expect much emphasis on agricultural technology and the degrees offered must be on agriculture, the backbone of the national economy,” Prof Mkenda noted.
(Story by Lake Zone Watch Reporter)